Like the tag line on the advertisement states, “Just do it”. You’ve made the decision to make a change; new job or new career, it doesn’t make a difference. What does make a difference is taking the first steps to getting started. Every journey starts with the first step. And the first step is to develop a plan. Without a plan you have no navigation to reach your destination, and the destination is the goal, the result of the change you have decided to make.

Make the time to create your plan; don’t find time…..make the time. And put it in writing. Brainstorm your ideas and thoughts. Don’t worry about putting it in some kind of order, you can do that later. The important thing is list everything that comes to mind. After you have created your list, then that is the time to begin to put the steps in sequential order. Once you have all the steps in order you will need to create a reasonable time frame to complete tasks necessary to reach your goal. The key operating word is ‘reasonable’. It’s imperative that you allow sufficient time to complete the task. By not allowing enough time, discouragement can enter the equation and your plan can falter. On the flip side, allowing too much time to complete the step can foster procrastination and again you plan can stall.

OK, now you have the plan, the steps or tasks necessary to reach your goal, and the time frame for each step to be completed. There is one additional metric to be included in your plan, and that metric is measurement. In other words how do you truly know if you have finished or completed that step in the process? The answer is you need a benchmark; a pre-determined, obvious outcome.

Don’t rush the plan. Yes, you want to keep the plan moving, however you don’t want to sacrifice the quality of the result for expediency. Remember, if you are going to do it, you might as well do it right. It’s no different than making fine wine; doing it right will take more time, however the result will be well worth the additional time necessary to achieving an outstanding outcome, and outstanding outcomes become the foundation for reaching your ultimate goal.

When you plan the work, and work the plan, your chances of success increase exponentially.